Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Everything is Awesome!!

I can't believe my little brother is going to Madagascar! That is so cool!! I guess he can "move it, move it" along with the Leemers, right?! Sorry..that was a bad Dad joke... ; } He'll be so great and speaking a language I've never even heard of before...Malagasy? what? At least I had heard of Tagalog before I got my call. He is totally meant to go there! I'm just sad we will miss each other by just a month or so.

As for me..Seriously, "everything is awesome!" (Que the music). I'm having a good time. Love this area. Love my companion. Love my housemates. Splits are pretty fun and I didn't get us lost! We had two splits this week, so we've been pretty busy. And we have another two this week... a little crazy, but it is a good experience getting to help the other sisters here. This area is super progressing. Already we had a baptism this past week and one planned for almost every week (exception of General Conference weekend) until May 9. 

Miracles are happening here. I'll just share a few tender mercies of the week.

1. There was a sisters that the missionaries have been teaching for quite a while. She used to be really active in going to church, reading, praying and whatnot...but I guess something happened and she stopped doing all of that kind of stuff. We were about ready to drop her, but we weren't able to get to her house last Saturday. She ended up coming to church this past Sunday and we plan to follow up with her tomorrow. I hope she continues her progression.
2.Another girl is about 10 years old and is our new investigator. She is so excited to learn, as in if she even sees us walking she runs as fast as she can, arms waving and everything, yelling "sisters, sisters! Are you going to teach me now? What is my reading assignment? Am I a Mormon yet?" She has about a million questions, but is already looking forward to when she is old enough to go on a mission.
3. As we were walking one day we saw a member who introduced us to another member. We thought that he was a less-active member, but it turns out he is pretty active. He just sometimes attends church in other areas because he travels for his job. But we set an appointment to meet with him (this was before we knew he was an active member) and we come to find other that his wife is not a member. She had attended church a couple times with her husband, but has never been taught or even introduced by the missionaries. She is really interested in learning more and has some really great questions. She is really searching for truth. AMAZING!

I love this work! I can't wait for Jason to get to experience it too! As for exchanges it was pretty fun. I split with Sister Acosta on Wednesday and Sister Sutherby on Saturday. Sister Acosta is from a part in the southern region of the Philippines. Their native language down there is normally Cebuano, but in her part they all speak Ilocano. Too bad here in Ilagan there aren't very many Ilocano speakers. It is more Ibanag and Tagalog here. She is awesome though. She is in the same batch as my anak (trainee), Sister Garcia. And Sister Sutherby is from Colorado and is only in her second cycle. Still pretty new and it kind of reminds me of how little Tagalog I new when I first got here. She is trying really hard and to speak as much as she can. It's weird for me to think back to how I was so shy, scared, and completely intimidated and realize now, I can totally speak and understand Tagalog! Crazy! I have come along way...

Anyway, it was a good week and I have two more companion exchanges this week. Looking forward to another great week in the mission.

Love you all!
Sister K

P.S. Sister Atienza and I counted how many times we have to hand wash our laundry. She is at 10 and I am at 22. I'll be home in 22 weeks!?! OH MY GOSH! But as much as I LOVE washing my clothes in a bucket every week (not), the giant spider eating the cockroach on our walls, and the other crazy things that I experience here on a daily basis, I'm perfectly happy being where I am :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Hello from Ilagan!

Love this girl!
I know I say this all the time, but I can't believe it is Monday again! This was a crazy fast week with everything going on. Monday I got to go to Banaue for the last time and had FHE with a family. Tuesday, I said a few goodbyes, and Wednesday it was transfer day.

Goodbye Banaue
I found out Wednesday morning, I was headed to the Ilagan Zone which is just north of the mission home and my companion is Sister Atienza, who was my housemate in Bayombong! I love her and I was super excited when I found out that she was my companion. It was really funny too because we we finally got to Cauayan to meet at the mission home and we were almost matching. Totally not on purpose. It was just meant to be! haha! The first day we were out walking around we kept looking around at each other like "Is this real? Are we really companions right now?" Yes, it is real!

Our area is a little more in the city part, but here in Ilagan, it is more on corn farms rather than rice farms. It's kinda like I'm back in Maryland again! ...ok, not...

My new apartment isn't the greatest...but it works. We don't have a shower and I would hook up my hand shower thing my mom "made" me bring, but there are worms in the water so we have to keep a towel wrapped around the faucets. The bucket showers will have to do for now. It will just make a real shower so much better when I come home :) It is a really great area though. The ward is very established and the members are strong. There is a lot of progression here. I'm so lucky to be assigned here! Can you tell I'm super happy about this transfer??

[note from mom--WORMS??? ugh!! what? like earthworms or like microscopic? eehhhk]

Thursday we had a zone meeting where we had to teach along with the zone leaders. Even though I didn't have much prep time, it went pretty well. I can testify that whom the Lord calls, he qualifies. Everything comes down to a matter of trust and faith. Though sometimes it may seem hard, we can always put our trust and faith in Heavenly Father. He is consistent and knows everything from beginning to end. I recently restarted reading the Book of Mormon and I was reading in 2 Nephi 4, when I came across verse 34 and 35 in my personal study last Thursday. It was perfect because before, I was really nervous for this new assignment and thinking, "President Rahlf, are you sure that I am the one He called?" But no matter our situation, Heavenly Father knows best. He has a plan and knows what we can handle. We have the opportunity to pray for help, and feel the Lord at our side during out righteous act. I feel like I have been able to get to know this area pretty fast in the last couple days with very little stress. I know it is because of Him, I can accomplish what He has asked me to do! Kaya ko! 

Mahal ko kayo!
Sister Koncurat
Philippines Cauayan Mission
February 2014-August 2015

Monday, March 9, 2015


Sunsets over Manilla Bay--beautiful, right?

and we're off...

It was actually a pretty interesting and unusual week. I got a big surprise. Monday night I found out that I had to go to Manila to take care of some visa things. Technically, I was an illegal alien here..oops  Thursday night I headed up to the mission home in Cauayan and spent the night there. Friday morning we met up with a big group of missionaries that all needed to go to Manila. We took an airplane there and after we all went through the immigration office we got to hang out ​at the Mall of Asia (MOA), which is the biggest mall in all of Asia. It was kind of funny because it felt like mini America. There were so many foreigners there and not a single person looked at me strange or called out to me.  I'm so NOT used to being a spectacle! I got to eat real american food too. I had Jamba Juice and a Subway sandwich (best sandwich I've had in a year!) and I took home some Krispy Kreme donuts for my housemates here. On Saturday, our flight wasn't until the afternoon so we all went back to MOA for Ihop in the morning. oh how I missed this kind of food!! haha But, the highlight of my trip was on the way back to the mission home. While on the plane, I got to talk to the guy sitting next to me. It was a really cool experience because I felt like I wasn't even the one talking. I told him that we believe that families are eternal and he just kind of thought about that for a little while and then turns to me and says (in tagalog) "I can't stop thinking about what you just said. I find that really interesting because in my religion we believe that you don't know anyone in the next life." I went on to explain about temples and how we have the proper authority to seal families together there. He asked what it was like inside the temple and if he would be able to go. The best part is that he has a connection to the church. His neighbors are members, so I suggested talking to them and have missionaries come by to talk to him more about it.

It is so amazing that feeling of inviting people to learn. The first part of my mission I was so shy and scared to talk to people. Mostly because I was afraid I wouldn't understand them and they wouldn't understand me, but now I love the opportunities that have been put in my way.

Instead of flying into the Cauayan airport to get back to our mission we had to fly into Tuguegarao...the hottest city in the entire Philippines!! Sheesh, it is so true!!  I mean HOT!! From the airport we had to take a long walk to the bus station.  Not sure how the missionaries make it everyday.  I thought it was unbearable down in Bayombong, boy, was I wrong!  After our long walk we then took a six hour bus ride to Solano. I stayed in the Solano sister's apartment for the night and then took a tricey to Bayombong Sunday morning. It was one of the longest days I've had in the mission, but at least I can say I was in the hottest part of the Philippines and survived haha!

So the transfer list came out today and I will be leaving Bayombong this Wednesday.  In my next area I will have an additional calling as a Sister Training Leader (STL) I'm kind of nervous for that because I am not only responsible for the work in our area but I am also responsible for all the sisters in the zone and making sure everything is ok with them. I also have to learn the area and all the people we teach within a week and take the sisters on splits. It will be ok though because this is what Heavenly Father wants for me and I CAN DO HARD THINGS through Christ.  : )  

[note from mom--apperently, she isn't going to the hottest city Tuguararao this transfer, thank heavens since the hot season is just getting started, but she never said exactly where she IS going. Guess we will find out next week. Love her photos this week!!]
no Americano calls here!

Eating at Ihop--It was glorious!!
random Nanay sighting (mission trainer/mom)  Sister Lamac

my Bayombong friends : )  I will miss them.

saying goodbye ; (

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sweet Sweet Fruits...

you have no idea what you are missing!!!!

One thing that is really great about the Philippines is the fruit! It is everywhere! And right now is the start of my favorite season. MANGO SEASON! AAAHHHH!! The mangoes soooo goooood!! When they are green, they taste a little sour so I like to dip it in a little sugar. But the yellow ones are my favorite. They are soft and juicy and sweet and pretty much the best thing ever! I could probably eat these mangoes for every meal, which I have actually done. : )  It is such a happy fruit. But....one fruit that is even better than the mangoes... the fruits of the gospel. 

In 1 Nephi 8:11, the prophet Lehi shares his dream to his family. In this dream, Lehi sees this tree that is glowing with fruit that he describes as the "most sweet, above all that I ever before tasted." Then later in verse 12, he tells how he wants to share with the rest of his family. That fruit can be compared to the gospel. When we are baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, that is a pretty good feeling, that we can then help others to receive as well. One of the best things is really helping others receive that first fruit of the gospel, which is exactly what happened this past weekend for me.
Last December we were introduced to Gloria. In past posts I told a little about her story. She didn't seem very interested at all when we first met her, but after giving her a Book of Mormon, the next time we went back to teach her, we were pleasantly surprised that she had been diligently reading it.
This past weekend she was baptized and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. I've watched her heart change and evolve as we continued to teach her, and as she read the Book of Mormon, and coming to church. Actually, sometimes she gets to church and takes her seat before we even get there. 

Sweet Fruit....

baptismal mirror selfie :D

As much as I love mangoes, I have to say that the feeling of sharing of gospel is even more sweet as we help bring others unto Christ.

Have a great week! Mahal ko kayo!
Sister K

Philippines Cauayan Mission
February 2014-August 2015

Randam photos that wouldn't upload before....

six to go...

One year celebration with chips and salsa! 

love these sisters

contact practice

The Solano Zone

the fun zone... ; )